Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Jonasson, K., Eriksson, J.
Sovereign Surfing in the Society of Control: The Parkour Chase in Casino Royale as a Staging of Social Change
(2022) Social Sciences, 11 (8), art. no. 357

DOI: 10.3390/socsci11080357

In “Postscript on Societies of Control”, French philosopher Gilles Deleuze proclaimed that “Everywhere surfing has replaced the older sports”. By this, he alluded to Foucault’s thoughts on older societal regimes and power diagrams of sovereignty and discipline, and that now such models have been supplemented with governance through control and allegations of increased freedom. This article has as its point of departure the potential of sports to reflect social change. Contemporaneously to the coining of Deleuze’s surfing sentence, a new sport emerges: parkour, in which practitioners “surf” the urban realm. This practice gained attention globally when it was featured in the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale. The analysis in this article revolves around the different ways of moving in and through the environment in the renowned parkour chase in the beginning of the movie. How do different kinds of displacement in the parkour chase of Casino Royale relate to the transition between the societies described by Deleuze, and what new adaptations emerge and what old logics and models return? It is concluded that the older forms of power prevail and that the ideal of the society of control cannot be realised. © 2022 by the authors.

Author Keywords
control; discipline; Gilles Deleuze; James Bond; Michel Foucault; movement; parkour; social change; sovereignty; surfing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: